Offaly Independent

Published: Monday, 2nd December, 2013 4:37pm

Computers and schools - your view sought by Education Minister

Profile by Laura Ryder

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Parents, teachers, students, industry and academics are all being asked for their views on how best to make use of computers and technology in the classroom.

Today (Monday) Education Minister Ruairi Quinn launched the public consultation phase of the development of a new Digital Strategy for Schools.

The public consultation phase will feed into the development of a new strategy on the use of ICT in teaching and learning in primary and post primary schools, and follows on from an online survey of principals and teachers earlier in the year.

“The potential for using technology in the classroom is huge – but we need to be asking ourselves important policy questions like what is the actual benefit we expect from using technology in schools and how do we measure progress?,” Minister Quinn said today.

“In this consultation phase, we are particularly interested in hearing from schools, parents, industry and academics on how we can genuinely use technology to improve teaching and learning in our classrooms – but also bearing in mind the challenging financial environment that many families and schools are facing.”

The Minister said there are some “excellent examples” of schools using technology to innovate in the classroom, but said the challenge now is to ensure every child in every school has the same opportunities to engage with technology across all aspects of the curriculum.

A key aspect to supporting the use of technology is broadband in schools. This includes the introduction of 100 Mbps broadband to all post primary schools and investment in broadband for primary schools to ensure continued improvements in connections available to schools.

The new Digital Strategy for Schools will be completed during 2014, and will set out how resources, policies and projects can be prioritised and organised throughout the school system for the next five years.

The closing dates for submissions - which can be made via www.education.gov.ie - is January 31 next.

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